Nick Swardson had dinner at Chambers on Saturday with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, the night before Rodgers thoroughly exorcized his football field demons regarding Brett Favre at the Metrodome.
"I know, I'm a traitor," confessed Swardson with a sly smile.
Not really, as a "Fire Childress" joke figured prominently in the St. Paul native's performance later that night as a star of Vince Vaughn's "Comedy Roadshow." The event made its last stop on a national tour at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, Vaughn's hometown.
I assume that Rodgers, like the Timberwolves' Kevin Love, who was in the audience, has become a friend of Swardson's because they admire each other's work. In Swardson's case, that would be his boyishly ribald humor, which currently includes "Pretend Time," a show on Comedy Central.
Rachel Swardson, owner of "Go Home Gorgeous," a hospital-spa service, arranged for me to meet both her brothers, Nick and John Swardson, and their mom, Pam Swardson, before Nick took the stage. I also was invited to sit in the Swardsons' seats at the show along with another friend of Nick's, KQRS-FM's Tom Barnard and his wife, Kathryn Brandt.
A regular in the movies of his pal Adam Sandler, Swardson has parts in "Jack and Jill" and "Just Go With It," both due in 2011.
In "Just Go With It," Swardson plays Jennifer Aniston's love interest.
"It's not challenging" acting, he admitted. "It's hard because you want it to be real life, but it's not."
Swardson would be a huge improvement over some of the dunderheads to whom Aniston's been linked as she rushes candidates toward what would be her second marriage since Angelina Jolie stole Brad Pitt (who went willingly and participated fully in not living up to his marriage vows).
Aniston strikes me as someone who secretly enjoys creating a frenzy (not that that's an excuse for Pitt's behavior), while Swardson could show her how not to let the fans' hysteria ruin and control her every move.
"I don't want [her level of] fame," said Swardson, "but I do want her hair. I think I could rock that pretty good."His poor mother ...
"Is Mom really here?" Nick Swardson asked during his routine, sounding genuinely surprised that his mother was coming to see him do his seriously inappropriate comedy act.
Pam Swardson, who identifies with the role of long-suffering mother, said: "I'm an introvert. The sight of him onstage makes me want to throw up. The tension. I've avoided the spotlight all my life."
Before one joke, Swardson told his mother to cover her ears. More than once during Swardson's performance, his sister Rachel -- who really enjoyed Nick's act -- lamented, "My poor mother."
While Mom may not like the dirty humor, she's very moved by how generous Nick is with his money. He flies his mom and a family friend, Aunt Betty, all over the country for his events and movie shoots.
"He always puts us up in five-star hotels," she said.Inside jokes
Kathryn Brandt pointed an accusatory finger at her husband, Tom Barnard, who laughed when one comedian joked about men getting a kick out of experiencing the kind of raucous flatulence that can wake them from sleep.
Another joke about how embarrassing it is to get caught at a red light next to a motorist on whom you just vented road rage caused Brandt to raise her hand, as if to say guilty.
There was a touching hand gesture exchange between Barnard and WCCO-TV sports anchor Mark Rosen.
While I didn't notice this at its start, I'm pretty sure Rosen was first to start blowing kisses at Barnard. And Barnard reciprocated. Long ago, Rosen was the sports guy on Barnard's show, until WCCO flexed its muscle and ordered Rosen to come boost WCCO-AM's ratings. That didn't last, and now Rosen does TV for WCCO and radio for KFAN.
Rosen was in the company of his WCCO-TV colleagues, anchors Amelia Santaniello and Frank Vascellaro.Equipment malfunction?
Comedian Owen Benjamin should doff the underwear he wore for Saturday's show.
Watching Benjamin fleetingly grapple with his underwear issue was starting to make some members of the audience uncomfortable. He kept grabbing and stabbing at the area around his zipper. He should have darted offstage and rearranged. Or maybe this is part of his act?
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.